Re: gnome "task" bar

Michael> Now, again, excuse this next question if it is ignorant, I
Michael> haven't been able to find too much extensive documentation on
Michael> just exactly what gnome intends to be, but, why would you
Michael> want to run another window manager under gnome?

In the X world, the words "window manager" have a very specific
meaning.  Occasionally people are confused about this; I'm not
entirely sure why.

A window manager is a special program which controls decoration and
other aspects of all the other windows.  It typically works by
intercepting certain X requests (window resizes, raises, lowers,
whatever) and then doing what it wants instead (the actual details are
complicated; this is just the general idea).

Since the window manager controls a good part of how the desktop looks
(via window decoration) and feels (via the actions used to manipulate
windows), people have very strong preferences about the wm they use.
Likewise, the number of window managers available is quite large.  The
situation is analogous to text editors.

Some window managers provide lots of extra doodads for use (e.g.,
virtual desktops, icon bars, program launchers, etc).  Some people
like these things.  On the other hand, some people I know like a very
minimal wm -- to the point of not even having a title on the window

It makes sense for Gnome to be window manager independent because:

* Window manager interaction is controlled by a document outside
  Gnome's control.

* In the X world, requiring a specific window manager is a sign that
  your program is clueless.

* It's better to let people choose when possible.

Michael> Couldn't/Shouldn't GNOME be its own entity, i have configured
Michael> my GNOME setup so that the stupid fvwm95 crap doesn't come
Michael> up, but its not efficient, when I "minimize" my programs, are
Michael> they being backgrounded?

I don't think "backgrounded" has a well-defined meaning here.

Generally speaking, though, the answer to your question is "yes".
When a program is iconified, it won't be receiving events (or at
least, not many), and so it will be waiting in a select() call.  This
means it will be idle (meaning "not sucking CPU").

It's possible to write programs that poll, or that do lots of work
even when not receiving events.  This is generally uncommon.  But an
example would be a program to draw Mandelbrot sets.  It would
presumably continue computing the image even once you had iconified

You might want iconification to be tied to a program's "nice" level in
some way.  As far as I know no window manager does this.  It isn't
possible in the general case, anyway, as X programs can run over the

Michael> If not, should they be or am I completely off on this one,
Michael> second, is it possible for the icons to show up in the gnome
Michael> "task" bar, like they do on the fvwm95 one?

It is probably possible to do this with some window managers.  I think
someone is working on implementing this, but I'm not sure.

Hope this helps,

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